Lights off on NHI

Community Alerts/David Gaanakgomo/Tigane-Klerksdorp/19/07/2018

It is not so long ago when minister Dr.Motsoaledi was sent to North West Province and assured us that National Health Insurance will work. Klerksdorp/Tshepong hospital is one of the hospitals chosen with its local clinics to launch the NHI project. The North West Province has seen new premier sworn in with high hopes, yet Tigane community had to suffer. Tigane Community Health Centre went black for a week. Eskom had to cut the electricity supply to the clinic as it owed thousands. The clinic which is supposed to work 24/7 could not function. The patients were transferred to Klerksdorp hospital. Even the expecting mothers had to wait for 2 to 3 hours for the ambulance to take them to hospital. Patients were given medication without checking their vital signs as every machinery operates with electricity. The worse part of it the backup generator was not serviced and could not function. During the night the nurses were helpless and had to use their cell phones to call an ambulance. When I interviewed the nurses who were on night duty on Friday the 6th told me that they fear for their lives as the weekend was dangerous. They said that they had to charge their cellphones at the nearby house as they were using them as lights. The ambulance takes 3 to 4 hours to arrive over the weekend. The clinic is one of those that has a maternity facility and without electricity, there is nothing they could do. With the weekend that the people got their social grants the rate of incidents is high after the mine dismissed its employees. Buthelezi ambulances take a long time to collect the patients. It would have been better if the clinic had an ambulance that is on standby. Last year when the people took on streets to demand better health services were promised by the district office that there will be improvements but it seems as if it is worse. By David Gaaanakgomo